Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Secret in Their Eyes (4 Stars)

This is another first for me. This is the first Argentinian film I've ever watched. I first heard about it when it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2010.

I'm not sure how the Argentinian legal system works. The main character, Benjamin Esposito, is a "deputy" who works in a judge's office. His colleagues are prosecutors (seemingly the equivalent of district attorneys), but his role seems to be that of a special policeman. During the film he is repeatedly called an attorney, but every time it happens he insists he isn't. It's difficult for me to imagine a judge being in charge of prosecutors and policemen in England. Things are very different in Argentina.

In 1974 a woman is raped and murdered. Two building workers confess to the crime under torture, but Benjamin is convinced they aren't guilty and hunts for the real killer. The killer is captured and sentenced to life imprisonment, but a year later he's released and is hired to guard the president. Benjamin protests about it, but then one of his colleagues is murdered, so he drops his protests and retires.

In 2000 Benjamin is writing a novel about the case. He returns to his old office to speak to his former colleagues about the case, but while there his curiosity is aroused, and he carries out new investigations.

I'm sure this is a good film, judging by the many awards it's won and the praise heaped on it by critics. However, I had problems relating to it. So many things were going on that I didn't understand. Maybe one of my readers can help me to understand it better.

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